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Posted on: January 29, 2020

Brian Kuemin Elected MAFE President

Brian headshot

In an almost unprecedented move, the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions reelected local Cass County resident, Brian Kuemin for his third term as president. “Celebrating their 135th year, MAFE normally elects their presidents for two terms, and I am very honored to serve this organization in this capacity,” says Kuemin.


Fairs are a vital part of Michigan communities, with 4 ½ million visitors in attendance at county fairs represented in the MAFE organization during their fair weeks, and another 2 million visiting those same fairgrounds during off-season events. Kuemin is quick to point out, “Fairs make a significant impact on Michigan’s economy. To put it into local perspective, Cass County has approximately 50,000 residents, and we have about 45,000 people attending our fair.”

Lisa Reiff, MAFE Executive Director states that, “Brian has done a remarkable job as president of MAFE, not just for this organization, but for fairs in the entire state. He brings so much knowledge to the position and his enthusiasm is infectious. He has testified before committees in Lansing and does so much to promote this industry. Personally, I would like to add that I really enjoy working with him. We are lucky to have him and his entire family.

MAFE holds their annual fair convention in January, bringing educational seminars, up-to-date rules and regulations from USDA and MDARD, workshops, round-table discussions, a trade show, fair entertainment possibilities and a large networking opportunity to those attending. “In turn,” Kuemin explains, “those county fair associations take the information they were able to obtain back home and incorporate it into what works best for them.” Fairs are always looking for ways to improve the experience for their visitors.

Kuemin, who has served on the Cass County Fair Board for 24 years, is celebrating his second year as president locally. “If ever there is someone that has “fair” running through his blood, it is Brian,” states Patty Dohm. “I’ve known him since he was in high school, working for us in the 4-H office of MSU Extension as summer youth help, and it doesn’t surprise me that he does such a great job. He is, and always has been, extremely dedicated to this.”

In his spare time, Kuemin is a MHSAA (Michigan High School Athletic Association) wrestling official, and the co-head official of the Southwest Michigan Youth Wrestling Association. A wrestler himself in high school, he has been officiating for 14 years. He and his wife, Melody, have been 4-H leaders for 28 years, enjoying working with the youth that drive and show their Haflinger horses.

Don’t think fair blood runs through Kuemin’s veins? This month, his daughter Courtney was hired by Berrien County Fair as their communication and development coordinator, as he proudly proclaims, “Fair is all she has ever known, she’s a natural. I was elected to the Cass Fair Board right after she was born, and our favorite family trips were visiting other fairs all over the state. And this will be great… I can work at my fair, then go watch her work all week at hers!”

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